Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos –
The head of the company that is the main shareholder in the Skaramangas shipyard west of Athens has offered the Greek government a way out of the longstanding impasse between the two sides, according to daily newspaper “Kathimerini”.
Iskandar Safa, the managing director and CEO of Abu Dhabi Mar, the holding company that owns 75 percent of Hellenic Shipyards, recently wrote to the Greek government in a bid to settle a dispute that has persisted since 2010, when the ownership of Skaramangas changed hands.
Abu Dhabi Mar has proposed that the shipyard be allowed to take out a government-guaranteed loan of 275 million euros to complete the construction of five navy submarines. This money would be added to the 75 million euros that Athens has already said it can make available for the shipyard, which employs about 1,000 people, to resume its work. Safa made the offer after the Greek side turned down his request for a payment of 350 million euros to construct and test the submarines.
Safa has also asked the government to take care of debt of 433 million euros the shipyard owes to the Hellenic Railways Organization (OSE). Athens insists this is something that Abu Dhabi Mar has to take up with with the previous owners of Skaramangas, German firm ThyssenKrupp.
Abu Dhabi Mar has applied for its dispute with the government to be resolved through mediation.